Sermon given by Stephen Price November 2, 2008 at Broadneck Baptist Church, Annapolis, MD. This week's scriptures are Matthew 22:34-46 and James 2:14-26.
Among many Christians the tension between "faith" and "works" creates significant problems. On the one hand, we believe that faith is what saves us; faith being the trust that God is going to do what God has promised. That promise is captured in what has become my favorite benediction (those of you who are at church on Sundays will spot it immediately) "go in the knowledge that in the goodness of God we were born, by the watchfulness of God we are kept all the day long, and in the love and mercy of God we are all being redeemed and made whole." God is about the process of drawing us all into the Great Celebration, the party to which we are all invited and all are welcome. On the other hand, we hear calls to justice, care for the poor, and the equating of our response to those who are 'hungy, naked, homeless, sick and in prison' as being a response to Christ Himself. As much as we may want it to be, this is not an either/or binary situation.
My salvation does not (nor does yours) depend on my behavior. I am not so powerful that I can finally shut down the power of God's love and longing for me. Neither are you. But I can make right now a living hell by my refusal to join the party, or participate in the celebration. And my refusal has consequences in the lives of others as well. This is not a final answer, but more of an answer in progress.
Audio_typeSpoken Word(interviews, reading, etc)
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